Welcome to Carnegie Council's Global Ethics Network. We have launched this project in the hope of building a global community dedicated to reimagining international relations for the 21st century. The world is facing major challenges—climate change, global poverty, and political instability—yet our tools for communicating and coordinating action are stronger than ever. That's why we have designed this network to be a collaborative platform for global education on our shared ethics.
Globalization is our new reality; the question is How will we respond? We can muddle fearfully from crisis to crisis, or we can think creatively about how to leverage our situation for the greater good. Carnegie Council believes that such challenges are best solved when countries work in cooperation.
Our Global Ethics Network draws its inspiration from the belief that our digital interconnections are bringing us toward a truly global ethic. The basis for shared values exists already. It is found in mutual threats to our survival. It is embodied in our religions, philosophies, customs, laws, and international declarations. It is supported by the principles of pluralism, rights, responsibilities, and fairness. The challenge before us now is to adapt these concepts so that the local and global contexts align.
A global ethic will inspire, not legislate; it will offer insight, not rules and regulations. The goal is not to make everyone the same or to impose consensus. It is rather to preserve liberty and diversity by recognizing our new reality and the ethics that come along with it. Because life on Earth is a shared destiny, a global ethic is no longer a luxury; it is a practical necessity.
So we welcome you to join us in this conversation, to seek out and create meaningful dialogue. Here are a few ways for you to get involved:
Blogs: Share your thoughts on the ethical aspects of current affairs. Every day there are stories of new confrontations, innovations in development, trade deals, and treaties. How do these events fit into the ethical frame?
Forums: Challenge the group with questions about the foundations of ethics and international relations. Time and again, global solutions are imperiled not by a lack of ethics but by competing visions. These friction points are where learning begins.
Videos: Post and comment on relevant clips from around the Internet, or host events at your university and film the results so that others can benefit from your learning process.
Build: We will be constructing an open, collaborative curriculum for teaching global ethics. For this we'll need bibliographies, syllabuses, lesson plans, and other interactive pedagogical tools. Bring your expertise to bear.
As Andrew Carnegie said at the inaugural Carnegie Council meeting on February 10, 1914, "This is an adventure such as has never been tried before." I look forward to seeing where this network leads us.
President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
[PHOTO CREDIT: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC).]